Cassie Tysarczyk Courtesy of National Pro Fastpitch
AKRON, OH (June 11, 2016) – The Akron Racers continued to swing red hot bats on Saturday night and remained perfect at Firestone Stadium this season with a 12-5 victory over the Dallas Charge. The Racers built a 12-0 lead over the first five innings, as they scored at least nine runs for the fourth time in six games this season.
Akron (5-1) received contributions up and down the lineup, and even from the bench as 10 different players added to their 15 hits in the game and nine different players scored at least one run or drove in one RBI. The Racers were paced shortstop Sami Fagan (3-for-3, double, 1 run), designated player Alex Hugo (2-for-3, 2 runs, 1 RBI) and right fielder Cassie Tysarczyk (2-for-3, 2 runs, 1 RBI).
“It was a team win,” field manager Brian Levin said. “Today I think we were very patient and I think we made them throw the ball. When we got strikes, we attacked them. We did a great job of that and worked a lot of counts deep.”
After failing to score a run in the first inning, despite loading the bases with one out, the Racers got the run parade going in the bottom of the second inning. Hugo (Georgia) led off with a walk and Tysarczyk (Texas A&M) followed with a base hit to right field that allowed Hugo to race around to third base. After a sacrifice bunt by catcher Griffin Joiner (Kentucky) advanced Tysarczyk to second base, second baseman Ashley Thomas (Georgia Tech) brought Hugo home with an RBI groundout. Third baseman Kelley Montalvo (Alabama) then delivered a two-out RBI single deep up the middle of the infield to score Tysarczyk.
Already holding a 2-0 lead, Akron went back on the attack in the bottom of the third inning, Tysarczyk drove home first baseman Sam Fischer (Loyola-Marymount) with her second single of the game, after Fischer reached on an error by Dallas third baseman Nadia Taylor. Two batters later Thomas brought home Hugo with a squeeze bunt to expand the lead to 4-0 in favor of the Racers. Montalvo followed with a single to third base that scored Tysarczyk and Thomas came home on the play when Taylor’s throw was errant to give Akron a 6-0 lead.
After Fischer put the Racers on the board again in the fourth inning with a solo home run that soared nearly all the way to the secondary 300-foot fence, the Racers broke out in the fifth inning for another big inning. The five-run fifth inning, in which the Racers entered with a 7-0 lead, broke the game wide open.
Thomas drew a one out walk to get the inning going. She scored on Racers third baseman Emily Messer’s (South Alabama) first professional hit, an RBI double.
Fagan wasn’t ready to let the scoring stop there though as she earned the second walk of the inning. Racers centerfielder, Taylor Schlopy (Georgia), singled to score Messer from second base. Next, it was Racers left fielder Hannah Day (Troy) smashing her first career NPF hit, loading up the bases for Akron.
Fischer (Loyola Marymount) knocked in another run via a sacrifice fly to score Fagan and move Schlopy and Day each up a base. Akron’s designated player Alex Hugo (Georgia) stamped another RBI into the stat sheet on a single to right field that scored Schlopy and pushed Day to third base. After a walk by Tysarczyk (Texas A&M), Joiner (Kentucky) supplied the fifth run by reaching on an error that allowed Day to come home and give the Racers a 12-0 lead.
After digging themselves into a 12-0 hole, the Charge (3-3) scored their first run in the sixth inning off of a sacrifice fly by the Charge’s Kylee Lahners. Then Dallas made a late rally in the seventh tacking on four runs thanks to a pair of home runs by right fielder Brianna Cherry and designated player Lauren Haeger.
It was the rookie pitcher Jailyn Ford (James Madison) getting the win with five shutout innings in her second career start, allowing just four hits while striking out the same number.
“(The key) is just trusting this team and knowing that they’re going to get runs up on the board and take care of business on the defensive side too,” Ford said. “It just allows us pitchers to relax and when you have a 12-0 lead, it’s easy for you to settle in and just attack batters and not worry about the score so much.”
Ford got some help once again from her outfield though as Tysarczyk made an incredible diving catch on the line in the third inning to give the young pitcher even more confidence in the defense backing her up.
“We are really challenging each other out there,” Tysarczyk said. “We are really learning from each other at the same time, but we can’t make catches like that unless our pitchers make really good pitches as well. So, it’s been nice to see Jailyn really come into her own and really just take over in the circle whenever she gets the ball.”
The Racers return to action against the Charge Monday night at Firestone Stadium at 7:05 p.m. Contact the Akron Racers box office at 330-376-8188 or online at akronracers.org for ticket information.
About the Dallas Charge:
The Dallas Charge, headquartered in McKinney, TX, began competition in the National Pro Fastpitch league in 2015. The Charge provide elite softball players the opportunity to pursue a professional career and inspire the next generation of professionals. Located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, the Charge organization and its players are committed to demonstrating leadership in community involvement, entertainment, and professionalism. Follow the Dallas Charge at www.dallascharge.com.
The Akron Racers, headquartered in Akron, OH, are the oldest existing team in the National Pro Fastpitch (NPF) league, celebrating their 15th Season of Play in 2016. The Racers competed in the Women’s Pro Softball League (WPSL) for two seasons in 1999 and 2000 and in the NPF since 2004. Historic Firestone Stadium is home to the Racers and numerous amateur events at all levels of play.
About National Pro Fastpitch (NPF):
National Pro Fastpitch (NPF), an Official Development Partner of Major League Baseball since 2002, provides elite female athletes with an opportunity to pursue a professional career in diamond sports beyond their collegiate success. The 2016 NPF season will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Coverage includes the NPF College Draft presented by Bownet on Thur., April 14, followed by 23 regular-season games, a Championship Series Preview Special and the 2016 NPF Championship Series. The NPF recently announced that the Scrap Yard Dawgs, located in The Woodlands, Texas, will join the Akron Racers, Chicago Bandits, Dallas Charge, Pennsylvania Rebellion and USSSA Florida Pride for the 2016 season. National Pro Fastpitch players hail from the U.S., Australia, Canada, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand, representing the most accomplished and talented athletes in the sport of women’s softball.
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